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Lionel Messi is the world's best player but Xavi deserved Fifa's award

Leo Messi was wearing a dickie bow last night. Proof, some said with a smile, that he knew he was going to be awarded with a second successive Ballon d'Or – after all, Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta were only in ties. But he didn't know: amid all the shock, the disgust and the pathetic patriotic paranoia, the man most surprised at Messi's award was Messi. On his way into the gala, he was asked whether it felt a bit strange to be the best player in the world and yet still know that he wasn't going to get the award for the world's best player. Messi mumbled something along the lines of: no, not really – Xavi and Iniesta won the World Cup.

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